March 28, 2024

How To Combat Dryness Due to Oxygen Therapy

Author: Jessica Fox

embrace of younger man and older man with tubes in nose
Are you or someone you know undergoing oxygen therapy? While this form of treatment can greatly benefit those with respiratory issues, it can also cause discomfort due to dryness in the nose, mouth, and throat. However, with a few simple measures, you can make your oxygen therapy experience more comfortable and less irritating.

Dryness Symptoms1

  • A dry and/or tight feeling inside the nasal passages
  • Nasal itchiness
  • Cracking inside the nose
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Dry crusts inside the nose

If you're experiencing nasal dryness, there are a number of ways to relieve it. From home remedies to over-the-counter medications, there are options available to help re-moisturize your nasal passages and ease the discomfort.

Humidify Oxygen

Consider adding a humidifier bottle to your oxygen concentrator to alleviate nose and sinus dryness that may arise from oxygen use.2 Talk to your healthcare provider about your dryness, and if they determine that humidification is appropriate for you, they will order a humidifier bottle to be attached to your concentrator. This will help moisten the oxygen and provide relief from dryness. If your concentrator doesn't have a humidification option, consider adding a room humidifier to increase moisture in your home.

Stay Hydrated

It is important to drink an adequate amount of fluids throughout the day to ensure that your body stays properly hydrated. Dehydration can lead to various health issues, such as fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and constipation.3 Speak with your healthcare provider to determine the appropriate amount of fluid intake for your body. In general, it is recommended to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to ensure proper hydration and bodily function.

Nasal Moisturizers

Keeping your nasal passages moist is important to prevent dryness and reduce discomfort. A nasal moisturizer can help with this, and many options are available in the market. Keep them moist with aloe vera or a water-based lubricant, such as K-Y Jelly. Do not use oil-based products, such as petroleum jelly. It's best to consult your healthcare provider to determine which moisturizing product suits you. Once you've found the right one, apply it regularly to keep dryness at bay.

Keep up with equipment maintenance and cleaning

It is essential to clean the different parts of your oxygen delivery system regularly. These include the oxygen concentrator, nasal cannula, facemask, tubing, and humidifier bottle. By keeping these accessories clean, you can help prevent the accumulation of dust, bacteria, mold, and germs, which can lead to potential respiratory infections and irritation.4


Overall, if you or a loved one is undergoing oxygen therapy, it's essential to be aware of the potential side effects of nose, mouth, and throat dryness. By combatting dryness, you can improve your overall comfort during oxygen therapy. Always consult your healthcare provider before making any changes or additions to your oxygen therapy. They can provide personalized recommendations based on your specific needs and medical condition.


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